With only days to go to the 2018/19 World Cup Opener in Ruka, the Austrian team went through the last preparations to get their squad ready. A three-day training camp in Innsbruck and Seefeld was just finished and now the athletes can enjoy two last days at home before boarding the plane to Kuusamo on Wednesday.
Actually, the camp in Austria was only plan B. Initially, the almost traditional camp in Rovaniemi where the first snow jumps are made and snow kilometres collected on the track was on schedule but due to the unseasonably warm weather, the hills in Rovaniemi and Ruka were both closed for the duration of the camp. The team concentrated on long cross-country sessions in Rovaniemi and travelled home sooner than planned.
Sports Director Mario Stecher was still satisfied with the progress of his team: “I think we have a very compact and good team. We developed a lot on the jumping side over the summer. Especially Mario Seidl and Franz-Josef Rehrl have built a solid system and jump on a top level. I hope that they can get this system across in the first snow jumps as well. Bernhard Gruber and Lukas Greiderer improved a lot on the course of our season preparation. Our goal will be to be able to face off with the German team and fight for top results.”
For their return to Ruka, the Austrian team can bring seven athletes, including Junior World Championships silver medallist Dominik Terzer, who has a personal start right to the World Cup until the next Junior World Championships.
The following athletes have been nominated for the first weekend of the World Cup.
- Willi Denifl
- Lukas Greiderer
- Martin Fritz
- Franz-Josef Rehrl
- Bernhard Gruber
- Mario Seidl
- Dominik Terzer